As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic that upended so many lives, new changes, particularly a greater focus on mental health, has emerged as well. With this new shift, the university has opened a new Wellbeing Center at Warner Hall, focused on giving students a place to prioritize their mental wellbeing to improve their overall health.
Assistant Vice President of Student Life and Wellness Dr. Rae Chresfield referred to how the new Wellbeing Center provides a physical place for students to go, making it easier for students to access resources that can help them with their mental health and wellbeing. Chresfield also noted what this new center means for the future of university students.
“Warner Hall creates a neighborhood that is far more accessible to students,” Chresfield said.
This idea of a “new neighborhood” allows students to feel more connected to the university and also allows them to have access to a clear, physical location rather than wellbeing resources being more diffused throughout campus. Chresfield also commented on how the Wellbeing Center promotes a better understanding of mental health, which is crucial during this time and for college students.
“It represents a deliberate focus, a broader definition and understanding of mental health and wellbeing,” Chresfield said.
Although the university already has spaces dedicated to student wellbeing, they were very dispersed throughout the campus. This is why a focus on mental health in a specific, physical location was necessary in order to support this new future for university students.
The Vice President for Student Life Jose-Luis Riera also commented on the physical aspect of the Wellbeing Center and its meaning for students when asked about its goals and purpose.
“The first word that comes to my mind is engagement,” Riera said. “One of the main goals is to have a physical space that represents what we hope is part of every UD student’s experience and that is that they are engaging with their wellbeing, and we’ve created a space where they can do that.”
According to Riera, by providing students with a physical resource that only focuses on wellbeing, they can become more engaged and overall connected with their mental health.
When looking at the center’s website, it states how it is a “new chapter” for student wellbeing. As students continue to navigate their wellbeing and mental health, people such as Chresfield and Riera are hopeful that the Wellbeing Center at Warner Hall can provide the necessary support and resources for students and help them move forward in this more health-focused next chapter at the university.